Jeans (Butterick 5682) and Peplum top (Vogue 8815)

Peplum top and ankle-length jeans

Peplum top and ankle-length jeans Peplum top and ankle-length jeans



My first pair of jeans! Actually not the first pair that I made, as I’ve made jeans several times for my husband and Sidra, but this would be the first time for myself. I finished them more than a week ago and have been wearing them so much ever since. That definitely is a sign of a successful project.

Butterick 5682

Butterick 5682

The fabric is dark denim and the pattern is Butterick 5682. From the pattern envelope: “At waist, fitted jeans (A,B,C,D) and semi fitted trouser (E), have contoured waistband and fly zipper. A: Slim leg, ankle length. B: Straight leg. C: Boot cut. D: Flared leg. E: Straight leg, hook and eye closure.” I made view A.

After checking the finished measurements, I realized that this pattern has a lot of ease. Like, a lot. My waist and hip measurements are closer to size 8, but I decided to make size 6 instead. Later I found out that I still had to slim down the sides.

My alterations:

  • back and front: shortened the rise 1 cm
  • back pattern: swayback adjustment  1 cm
  • The supposedly ankle length was way longer than my whole leg, I chopped it off accordingly.
  • After fitting: slimmed down the sides about 1.5 cm on each side and reshaped the legs

The pocket linings are leftover from my green Pastille dress. I also used the same fabric for waistband lining since the denim was not enough. Construction-wise I didn’t find much difficulties, except for the one time I accidentally hammered my finger when installing the rivets (ouch!). My sewing machine also refused to make buttonhole on those thick layers, so I cheated and sewed a pair of hook and eye, the jeans button is for decorative purpose only.

Jeans Jeans

I’m quite satisfied with the result! It is hard for someone my size to find slim, ankle-length pattern in the right size and shape. The legs were always too long, and when shortened, the shape and proportion were disturbed. Good to know that I can make them myself!

Now that I would need a top to wear with my new jeans, I whipped up this little peplum top with stretch velvet in neon yellow. This kind of top is a trend that I’ve always interested in but wasn’t sure that they’re gonna work for my body.

Vogue 8815

Vogue 8815

The pattern is Vogue 8815, from the pattern envelope: “Fitted top has raised waist/hemline variations and narrow hem. A and B: back zipper. C: pullover, wrong side shows (back hemline), back neck slit with hook/eye closing. B and C: stitched hems on sleeves. Purchase bias tape to finish necklines and armholes A.” I made view B.

My alterations:

  • The smallest size for this pattern is 8, I graded it down to size 6.
  • Bodice: shortened 2.5 cm
  • Bodice back: Swayback adjustment 1 cm
  • Back peplum: swayback adjustment 0.5 cm
  • Peplum: shortened 5 cm
  • Sleeves: shortened 2 cm
  • After fitting: lowered front neckline 1.5 cm, lengthened back darts 2.5 cm

This pattern is marked as ‘very easy’, and it is indeed easy with only 5 pattern pieces (4 for the sleeveless one). I didn’t look at the instructions at all. As my fabric is stretchy, I skipped the back zipper. In retrospect, I should’ve cut the back peplum on fold.

I didn’t use bias bindings for the neckline and finished it like a T-shirt neckline. A strip of fabric is folded and then attached to the neckline using overlocker. The key is stretching the strips of fabric while sewing it so the neckline wouldn’t stretch out and gape. Later I used coverstitch function on my overlocker to topstitch the neckline. The sleeves and hem were also finished with coverstitch.

I find the shape quite flattering and it is so easy to wear. This top is basically a fitted T-shirt!
Peplum top Peplum top

Jeans pattern is Butterick 5682 size 6, altered to fit.
Peplum top pattern is Vogue 8815, graded down to size 6.

Hearts all over my dress (Vogue 1288)

Heart Silk Dress (Vogue 1288)

Vogue 1288 - heart prints

Vogue 1288

Vogue 1288

Remember this planned project? I finally managed to finish one of them, right when summer is definitely over. Apparently I’m not very good at planning projects.

Anyway! The dress is finished and I love it! The fabric is Juicy Couture silk with pinkish background and black heart prints all over and the pattern is Vogue 1288 from Badgley Mischka Platinum – Vogue American Designer line. From the pattern envelope: “MISSES’ DRESS: Close-fitting, lined dress (fitted through hips) has overlay, contrast bias trim and invisible back zipper. Bias binding (lining) finishes seams.”

I cut size 6 on bust and waist, tapered to size 8 on hip. As usual, I shortened the bodice and hem and made a swayback adjustment before cutting the pattern. This pattern is quite simple, it is a basically a sheath dress with waist-length overlay.

Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288) Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288)

I didn’t follow the pattern instructions when sewing the dress.The dress on the pattern envelope is made of sequined chiffon with contrast trim along the neckline, armholes, and hem of both the overlay and the skirt, which required specific techniques of sewing. I didn’t use contrast trim, so my way of sewing the dress was quite simpler.

Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288) Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288)

Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288) First, I attached the side seams of both the outer fabric and lining. Then the outer fabric and lining were attached at the neckline and armholes, leaving about 5 cm gap on top of the straps. The seam allowances were clipped and the dress was turned right side out. Then I sewed the shoulders and slipstitched the lining to the dress. Actually it is similar to the way I sew a reversible bag.

The hem of the overlay was overlocked, then folded inside and topstitched. All seam allowances -except for french seams for the overlay- were finished with overlocker instead of bias binding as the pattern instructions suggested.

This is my first time sewing with silk, and I happily realized that it was not that difficult! Here’s a helpful post on Mood blog that I read beforehand. In addition, I also used fabric stabilizer spray to help me dealing with the slippery fabric. Mine is made in Japan, but I think it is similar to Sullivans Spray Fabric Stabilizer.

My fabric snagged a bit, indicating that the needle was not small enough. Also, silk is so delicate that sometimes I didn’t realize there was an additional layer underneath the ones being sewn. I spent sometime freeing the hem of my dress that got caught on the neckline. But other than that, there were no major hair-pulling moments.

I just love how I’m feeling wearing this dress. The overlay is flowing gracefully with every movement, as you can see in the picture of me pretending to walk against the wind from the fan. And silk is so soft to the touch. This won’t be the last time I’m sewing with silk!

Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288) Hearts silk dress (Vogue 1288)

Pattern is Vogue 1288, size 6 on bust and waist, size 8 on hip.

Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728)

Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728) Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728)

Vogue 8728

Vogue 8728

On to my next dress! The fabric came from the same store as the orange dress, but it is a much more casual jersey with chevron pattern. There was two choices, I had a hard time choosing between the grey lines and this lilac and light blue chevron, but finally settled with this one. I think I’ve made the right choice!

The pattern is Vogue 8728 from Vogue Vintage Model line, a reissue of “The Greta Eberhardt Collection” pattern circa 1946. What is great about this pattern is that it can be made in both knit or woven fabric. From the pattern envelope: “Misses’ dress and belt: Dress has shoulder pads and side snap or zipper closing.” Of course this is not an adequate description of the pattern. The dress has front gathered yoke with all in one sleeve, a couple of back darts, and gathered skirt.

I wanted to make the dress in size 6 but unfortunately the smallest size stops at 8 so I had to do some improvisation. These were not  proper pattern grading technique, but I suppose it would work since the dress is made of knit fabric and not very fitted.

  • Removed 2.5 cm from each pattern pieces at the center front of skirt, center back of skirt, and center front of yoke.
  • Removed 1 cm from each pattern pieces at the center front  of lower bodice and the center back of bodice.
  • Shortened the lower bodice by 3 cm.
  • Shortened the hem considerably.
  • Lowered the shoulders about 1 cm on each side since I have no intention of using shoulder pads.

The pattern instruction is great if you want to learn some vintage sewing technique. Some of them seemed quite unusual, like turning in the seam allowance of the lower bodice and topstitching them on the yoke gathers or attaching extension to the side of bodice for sewing snaps. I disregarded them all and went to the quick road: overlocker! Most of the seams were sewed using overlocker, except for the topstitching around the upper edge of lower bodice and neckline.

Instead of bias binding as the instruction suggested, I used regular T-shirt neckline finishing technique. A strip of folded fabric is attached to the neckline using overlocker, then topstitched down. Also, the stretchy fabric allowed me to skip using zipper. Just like my previous dress, I sewed a pair of store-bought bra strap holders to the inside of the dress’ shoulders. No more bra straps peeking out of the wide neckline!

As you can see in the finished dress, my clumsy alterations changed the shape of the yoke which is now shaped like a V instead of a shallow U. Next time I should correct the top of lower bodice shape. But I suppose other parts of the dress looked quite okay. I love how the chevron lines creating shapes on different parts of the dress. The dress is now one of the most comfortable dress that I own!

Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728) Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728)

Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728) Chevron jersey dress (Vogue 8728)

Pattern is Vogue 8728 size 8, altered to fit.

Orange dress (Vogue 8313)

Orange dress (Vogue 8313) Orange dress (Vogue 8313)

Looking at the number of sewing that I’d done in the past couple of month, apparently sewing and summer is not a nice combination for me. Fortunately the weather is getting cooler now and my sewing mojo slowly crawled back. I found this pretty eyelet orange fabric in my favorite local fabric shop who sells out of print fabric, and it was turned rightaway into a dress that night.

Vogue 8313

Vogue 8313

The pattern is out of print Vogue 8313, marked as ‘very easy’. I bought it for $1.99 on a sale in Vogue Patterns site. From the pattern envelope: “Misses’ Petite Dress: Dress has V-neck front and back, front and back darts, all in one sleeve and upper section, self bow over upper edge of zipper and back slit at lower section.”

According to the bust size, I should have made size 8. But after checking the finished measurements, I decided to cut size 6 all over. I think checking the finished measurements is a much more reliable way to find the right size. There is not much pattern alterations other than shortening the bodice and hem considerably.

The upper bodice is not lined, the seams are finished with French seams. The lower section is underlined with skin-colored lining and the raw edges finished with overlocker. I didn’t have orange invisible zipper on hand so I just used a yellow one as the zipper pull would be covered with the bow anyway. The bow is handstitched to the right side of the dress, the left side is attached using a pair of snaps.

The back of the dress is quite low, a low-back bra is essential here. I suppose you can also go no-bra with this dress, but the neckline is quite wide that the dress might fall off the shoulders. Of course, it wouldn’t be nice when it happened.

I sewed a pair of store-bought bra strap holders to the inside of the dress’ shoulders so the dress would hang on the bra and no unintentional exposure would happen. In fact, I really love these little bra strap holders and would put it on every dress from now on. These are one of those little things that can make your life much more comfortable.

As mentioned by the pattern, it was quite an easy sewing. It would even be a lot faster if I didn’t use eyelet fabric. The lines are quite flattering I guess, I love seeing it on my body. With such a low back, I know this dress won’t be one of my daily dress. Anyhow, it is nice to have a perfect dress to wear when an occasion passes by!

Orange dress (Vogue 8313) Orange dress (Vogue 8313)
Orange dress (Vogue 8313) Orange dress (Vogue 8313)
Orange dress (Vogue 8313) Orange dress (Vogue 8313)

 Pattern is Vogue 8313 (out of print) size 6.

A couple of dresses

20120831-155326.jpg 20120831-155334.jpg

A couple of days ago I went fabric shopping, and got so inspired that I made them into a couple of dresses already. I’ve been losing my sewing mood due to hot weather lately so I really felt satisfied with myself after making these two. The orange one is made with out of print Vogue 8313 and the dark one is Vogue 8728.

Unfortunately my computer is having some problem, the monitor won’t show anything. My husband said it’s the graphic card and he will fix it tonight. I guess there won’t be any decent post until then. This one is posted from iPhone, but I can’t get the pictures from my DSLR so here’s a couple of artsy instagram pictures.

Summer is going to go away soon and I hope I will be making more things this fall! Yay for no more sweaty sewing!

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